Have you ever received a letter in the mail that was just meant to lift your spirits? Has someone ever prepared a meal for you because your children had been sick and that person thought it would just be a nice thing to do? Have you ever walked into a room to see handpicked flowers with your name on it? I have been the receiver of many random acts of kindness over the years. They don’t happen often, but that feeling that I get when someone thinks of me is enough to keep me going for weeks! Recently, I found a Facebook page devoted to random acts of kindness. These members spend their birthdays doing one random act for each year they’ve been alive. How cool is that?! Seeing this post got me wondering how I could start practicing my own random acts of kindness.
We all know that God wants us to be nice to others. We know we are supposed to put others before ourselves. The Holy Spirit even prompts us to do things for others, but do we always listen? I can think of numerous times in my life when I was prompted to do something. Sometimes it wasn’t just in a little whisper but an almost audible voice, and I still didn’t listen. I have let my fear get the best of me many times during my life. What if the person isn’t grateful? What if the person doesn’t like my cooking? What if I invite someone to go somewhere with me, and she says “no”? I constantly doubt myself and talk myself out of blessing others. It’s a little embarrassing to admit this–especially when I think of all the times someone has decided to bless me with her kindness. God tells us in Philippians 4:13 that we can do “all things through [Him] who gives us strength.” That verse tells us that it is not through OUR power. It is through HIS power. So, if we are prompted by the Holy Spirit to do something, that means God is equipping us to do it. We should not doubt.
This weekend I finally obeyed. God had put on my heart to meet the new families in our newly developed neighborhood. So, I decided to bake cookies for each new family. Who doesn’t like cookies, right? Well, the devil still plagued me with doubt—what if they aren’t home? What if they are allergic to wheat, nuts, or milk? You name it, I thought it. But, I didn’t let him win!
We made it a family affair. We baked, packaged, and delivered the cookies as a family. My girls were so excited when they got to hand over a plate of cookies to each family. And as expected, each family was pleasantly surprised.
I wish that I always listened when God put someone else’s need on my heart. I pray that I not only listen, but act when prompted to encourage others. Acts 20:35 says, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Seeing the smiles on my neighbors’ faces definitely gave me a huge blessing! I’m excited to see what else God has in store for me.